Before you settle in to watch tonight's LIVE, streaming pre-season games from Arizona, head over to TheCrew.com for a LIVE stream of the “State of the League” conversation from 6:00-8:00 PM with MLS Commissioner Don Garber alongside Columbus Crew Owner Clark Hunt and Crew President & GM Mark McCullers.
Have a question the commissioner? Ask him via Twitter using the hashtag #Crew96. Make sure to follow the Columbus Crew on Twitter for further updates.
Watch the "State of the League" here.
With First Kick only weeks away it's time to start thinking about making all of the necessary purchases that make your season complete.
You'll need your tickets, your new kit and your new, officially licensed MLS gnome for sure. You'll also need MLS Live for those days that you can't make it out to the stadium in your kit with your gnome (they're for good luck).
MLS Live, formerly known as MatchDay Live, is an all-new product for the 2012 season, completely rebuilt and reimagined. MLS Live offers high quality, HD streams in Flash that will be available across multiple devices; one subscription will allow you to access 230+ games via computer, iPad, iPhone, Roku & Panasonic TV’s. That's one price, 5 devices.
And what's the price? $59.99 for the season. Not a bad deal at all.
MLS Live launches soon...very soon. For more information visit MLSsoccer.com in the coming days.
Forget Jimmy Conrad and his jokes. Forget Eddie Johnson talking about himself in the third person. And don't even bother to tip your beret in the general direction of Thierry Henry.
Sporting KC's Aurelien Collin is the funniest, most delightfully conceited Frenchman you will ever lay eyes on...and he's here to solve all of your problems.
Welcome to Collin's Corner.
Here's a look at one of Sporting Kansas City's new billboards, featuring striker and reigning Rookie of the Year C.J. Sapong.
Find it at:
- I-435 and 350 Highway (February 20)
- I-70 and Indiana (February 27)
Breakout star Graham Zusi will also be featured on a billboard located at I-35 and Cambridge Circle beginning Feb. 20. CLICK HERE for more information.
Dato curioso: cada uno de los cuatro clubes de la MLS que disputará el torneo de pretemporada Desert Diamond Cup en Tucson, Arizona tiene en sus líneas a al menos un jugador latino que no jugó en la MLS en 2011.
New England Revolution contará con John Lozano y Fernando Cárdenas, dos colombianos provenientes del América del Cali.
A su vez, los New York Red Bulls tienen a su propio colombiano en el experimentado Wilman Conde, quien ya había jugado en la MLS con Chicago Fire y regresa para alinearse con los toros de la Gran Manzana.
Por su parte, el Galaxy tiene al brasileño proveniente del Alajuelense de Costa Rica Marcelo Sarvas y al debutante mexicoamericano Rafael García.
Por último, Real Salt Lake cuenta con cuatro jóvenes latinos que participaron en el SuperDraft este año: el uruguayo Enzo Martínez, el brasilero Diogo de Almeida, el argentino Emiliano Bonfigli y el colombiano Sebastián Velásquez.
Los clubes emeleseros tendrán la oportunidad de mirar a sus jugadores en acción para tomar decisiones finales sobre quien será titular, quien será reserva y quien se ira del equipo. La pregunta es simple: ¿Quién de estos latinos tendrá el mayor brillo en Tucson?
If you have a spare few minutes I implore you to check out this clip on Kei Kamara and his reluctance to join Sporting KC, who were still the Wizards at the time.
It's kind of hard to believe now that he's one of the faces of the franchise but KC was a place the erstwhile Houston striker really didn't want to be and he told coach Peter Vermes exactly that. Mind you the Kansas City franchise of 2009 played on a tiny field in a minor-league baseball park and, subsequently, weren't too high on the wish list of many MLS players. My how things have changed.
Have you entered "NASL" into Google lately? No? Do it now and there is a good chance you'll be surprised by the fact that there is a third league that goes by that name.
Most American soccer fans are familiar with the old NASL which ran from the 1960's to the early '80s and the second division league that currently operates under that name. But there is also something called the North American Starcraft League which, according to its website, "was established to foster the prominence of esports and professional Starcraft 2 play in North America through highly visible organized and invigorating competition".
Finally, a league to out-obscure the American second division. Thank you Starcraft fans.
Oguchi Onyewu just can't seem to catch a break.
The big central defender tore ligaments and the meniscus in his right knee in Sporting CP's win over Paços de Ferreira on the weekend. Sporting's official site says he needs surgery and will be out for at least two months.
Obviously, this rules him out for next week's showdown with Italy. But it also begs the question: How much can US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann rely on Gooch at this point in his career?
Onyewu's athleticism never really recovered after his horrible injury against Costa Rica two-and-a-half years ago, and rebuilding his other knee — at age 30 — suggests the road ahead will be bumpy. Expecting him to ever regain his 2007 to '09 form, when he was the best defender in Belgium and deservedly attracted the attention of clubs like AC Milan, seems like a fool's errand.
It was already imperative that guys like Geoff Cameron, Tim Ream and George John step up and claim roles with the national team by the end of the calendar year. The latest injury to Onyewu just crystalizes that need.
Speaking from past experience, there are few adventures in sports that trump away days. When I think about all of the hours in my pre-professional blogging life spent on my feet with a song coming out of my mouth the best memories often center around stadiums that were not my club's home ground.
These golden moments don't just happen though as they require an incredible amount of coordination between the clubs, the supporters and (hopefully) a good travel agent. And, for the most part, they aren't the quick, 1-hour jaunts associated with some European leagues.
In a league that connects two coasts and spans two large countries the distance a supporter can travel for a match is more often than not extreme by world football standards. This excerpt from a recent article in The Guardian highlights this fact best:
"The average journey for North American fans is still one of the longest you would undertake in most other leagues; the bigger journeys are more expeditions than road trips; Portland Timbers fans going to New York is the same as going from London to Baghdad. LA Galaxy at Boston is longer than Tokyo to Manila.
The journey those Fire fans made to Toronto clocked in at 1,000 miles round trip, and that's their second closest game; in England, no-one can travel that far at all, and it's pushing the longest trip most European fans would have to make. Only fans in Russia can hold a candle in terms of the distances traveled to see a team play, and even there, the average distances tend to be exaggerated by a small number of teams in Siberia and the far-east."
Seriously, there are fans out there who are logging more air miles than Chelsey Sullenberger these days and I salute them for it. Special acknowledgment to those who travel to and from Canada to be with your team; anyone willing to brave both the TSA and customs for only a 33.3% chance at witnessing a win is alright in my book.